Patriots at 6-0!
Knocks off Marblehead to Become Kings of NEC
The Revere High football team completed what ranks as one of the most amazing runs in the program’s history with an exciting, down-to-the-wire, 31-27 victory at Marblehead last Friday evening.
For the third week in a row, coach Lou Cicatelli and his Patriots overcame an opponent that at some point in the season had been ranked among the top 20 in the state.
And for the third straight week — just as they had done previously against Lynn Classical and Lynn English — the Patriots (with apologies to Julius Caesar) came, they saw, and they conquered under the lights at Marblehead’s Piper Field before a standing-room-only crowd.
The victory leaves Revere as the only undefeated team in the NEC (both North and South Divisions) and vaulted the Patriots into the top 10 of The Boston Globe’s poll for the first-time since the Super Bowl team back in 1972.
Friday night’s contest was as entertaining and exciting a game as any that a football fan could hope to see at any level between the two best schoolboy squad on the North Shore.
“It was a great game between two outstanding teams,” said Cicatelli.
The rivals battled to a 7-7 deadlock through the first half. Revere scored on its first play from scrimmage when senior captain Jonathan Murphy took a handoff on a jet sweep, turned the corner, and scooted 80 yards to pay dirt, silencing the stunned Marblehead crowd while sending the large contingent of Patriot fans who made the trek to the northern suburbs into a state of delirium.
The defenses for both teams were in firm control for the rest of the half, with Marblehead only getting on the board to bring the game back to level, thanks to an interception at the Revere 28 had set up the Magicians with a very short field.
However, the defensive stand-off would not extend beyond the intermission.
Marblehead broke the deadlock immediately with a return of the opening kickoff for a touchdown. The Patriots responded with a long drive that was capped by a nine-yard touchdown run by Joe Llanos, bringing matters back to level once again at 13-13 (both teams missed on their PAT attempts).
Patriot place-kicker Rayan Riazi gave Revere a 16-13 lead at the end of the third period with a 38-yard field goal. The Patriots on their next possession then embarked on a long drive that culminated with a four yard run by Llanos which, together with Riazi’s PAT kick, gave Revere a 23-13 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
However, Revere’s sense of security dissipated quick-as-a-flash thanks to a 60-yard scamper by a Marblehead running back and then, after another Marblehead interception, a Magician touchdown that reversed the trajectory of the game entirely, leaving the Patriots trailing, 27-23.
“We went from bring in control to falling behind in a matter of minutes,” said Cicatelli.
However, the sudden turn of events did nothing to diminish the determination of Cicatelli’s crew, who soon displayed the sort of grit that is the hallmark of champions.
Revere took the ball after the kickoff, starting on their own 30 with 7:56 remaining, and embarked on an 70-yard drive that ended when Llanos went over from a yard out with 27 seconds left on the clock.
Cicatelli, confident that his line would create the space necessary for the two-point conversion, handed the ball to Llanos, who made it a successful try to give Revere a 31-27 lead.
“We had a simple strategy for that final drive: Give the ball to Joe. We were confident that our offensive line could control the line of scrimmage and open some holes, and they did,” said Cicatelli, who gave a shout-out to his O line of Jaryd Benson, Alaa Atoui, Ryan Doucette, Ryan Schafer, and John Laurina.
The game-winning TD was not without some drama. The ball came loose from Llanos’s grip, leading to a Marblehead recovery, but after some delay, the refs (who had called back three Revere TDs on the night) ruled that Joe had broken the plane before losing the ball.
RHS linebacker Jonathan Tran, who led the Patriots with a dozen tackles in a performance that Cicatelli termed “a monster game,” then applied the coup de grace, picking off a Marblehead pass in the waning seconds to seal the deal — and thus ending the Magicians’ remarkable winning streak to hand them their first loss during the regular season since 2012.
Llanos added to what already rates as his NEC Player of the Year and All-Scholastic season, rushing for over 150 yards and scoring three touchdowns, plus the two-point conversion.
Defensively, the Patriot defense was immense. Of the four Marblehead touchdowns, one came via a kickoff return and two came after interceptions had set up the Magician offense deep in Revere territory. The lone defensive breakdown of the evening came on the 60-yard Marblehead TD run in the fourth period.
Linebacker Bill Ginepra turned in a powerful performance, making four sacks and forcing a fumble that he recovered.
Captain Mazer Ali and Atoui were, as usual, rock-solid at their defensive end posts.
Cicatelli and his squad, who now are 6-0 on the season, figure to have a bit of a reprieve after their three-week battle with the iron of the NEC when they host Salem this Friday evening under the lights at Harry Della Russo Stadium.
The contest will be highlighted by Senior Night and Homecoming Game activities, which will make the evening especially festive for the Patriots and their fans.
The Witches are 0-6 and have been outscored by an average of 43-10 in their six losses. They are coming off a 35-18 defeat to a Winthrop team that had been averaging fewer than 12 points per game prior to the win over Salem.
“We have to be ready for Salem,” said Cicatelli. “Despite their record, they can be a very dangerous team. For them, this will be their Super Bowl, so we know they will be trying hard to knock us off.”
After Friday’s game, Revere will set its sights on the Division 4 North playoffs. The Patriots figure to be the first or second seed in the eight team D-4 North bracket, which means there will be two home games at HDR for local fans.
RHS Boys Cross Country Defeats Malden to Win GBL
The Revere High boys cross country team capped off an undefeated dual meet season with a runaway 16-46 victory over Malden last Wednesday at Pine Banks to claim an undisputed Greater Boston League championship.
The Patriots took the top four places, led by Victor Pelatere in a time of 17:03, who was followed by teammates Fabio Tran, Christian Madrid, and Will Martinez, all of whom were officially clocked at 17:04.
Carlos Quintanilla came across in sixth place in 17:16 to complete the RHS scoring. James Carpinelli was seventh in 17:18, followed by Antony Arias in 18:32, Michael Adolphus in 19:43, Brayden Shanley in 20:17, and Miguel Leonarte-Garcia in 21:31.
“I’m very proud of what the team has accomplished this season,” said RHS head coach Mike Flynn. “They have followed our pre-race game plan for each of our opponents and have run smart, tactical races to perfection against every opponent.”
Flynn and his crew are set to compete in the All-GBL Meet today (Wednesday) at Macdonald Park in Medford.
RHS Girls Cross Country Tops Malden
The Revere High girls cross country team earned a tightly-contested 26-29 victory over Malden last Wednesday.
The Lady Patriots, who have been competing this season without their top runner, Erika Cheever, because of health issues, received strong performances from Soleil Yuong and Carly Bennett, who finished 1-2.
“Malden took the next three spots, so Soleil and Carly finishing first and second was the deciding factor in the race,” said RHS head coach Katie Sinnott.
Also scoring for the Patriots were Salome Gezehagn, Yulissa Santana Baez, and Maajda Louaddi.
“Overall, our team dropped only one dual meet to GBL teams, of which I am quite proud,” said Sinnott, whose squad finished the season at 3-1.
Sinnott and her crew will compete in the All-GBL Meet today (Wednesday) at Macdonald Park in Medford.
Revere 26, Malden 29
Soleil Yuong – 1st overall, 21:28
Carly Bennett – 2nd overall, 21:30
Salome Gezehagn – 6th, 24:05
Yulissa Santana Baez – 7th overall, 24:07
Maajda Louaddi – 10th overall, 25:43
Butayna Amine – 12th overall, 28:11
Keneisha Germain – 13th overall, 28:12
Maria Ferreira – 15th overall, 30:39
RHS Field Hockey Reaches State Tourney, Wins First GBL Title
The Revere High field hockey team made history this past week with a 2-1 victory over Malden that enabled the Patriots to qualify for the MIAA state tournament for the first time in 31 years.
Following the victory, the team held its annual alumni game that was attended by a host of supporters who came out and got together for a great game of field hockey.
Coach Briana Scata and her crew then took part in the Columbus Day parade to celebrate their victory earlier that morning over Everett that clinched the RHS program’s first-ever Greater Boston League title.
This past Saturday the team held Senior Day festivities.
“We celebrated 21 amazing seniors who will be leaving us at the end of this season,” said Scata, whose Patriots then battled to a hard-fought 0-0 tie with Lowell in a contest between evenly-matched teams in which neither could find the opportunity to break the deadlock.
“Our defense worked tirelessly the entire game to ensure that our opponents stayed away from our net,” said Scata. “Chloe Giordano added yet another tally to her shut-out record and made some amazing saves.”
Scata and her crew have three games left in the regular season and then will begin their preparations for the state tournament.
RHS Girls Soccer Earns Co-GBL Title
The Revere High girls soccer team earned a share of the Greater Boston League title, the first-ever league championship in the history of the girls soccer program, with a 2-1 victory over Malden on Monday.
The contest was a hard-fought battle all the way, but RHS head coach Megan O’Donnell received solid performances from her team on both offense and defense.
The Patriots took a 1-0 lead in the first half when leading scorer Carolina Bettero received a throw-in from Sofia Chorqui and proceeded to deliver the ball into the back of the Malden net.
In the second half, Maddy Yanes hit Bettero with a beautiful pass over the middle that Carolina once again deposited into the Malden net to make it 2-0.
Malden battled back and scored a goal with two minutes left to put some pressure on Revere, but the Patriot defense stepped up and stopped Malden from scoring.
Last week Revere put itself in position to win a share of the GBL crown with a tie against Somerville, the other GBL co-titlist, and a win over Medford.
RHS goalkeeper Camila Perez turned in a superb game in net and her defense was solid in the 2-2 tie with Somerville.
Both Revere goals were scored by Bettero, with assists from Maddy Yanes and Chorqi. “We have had awesome midfield playing from Jackie Zapata and Maddy Yanes all year long,” noted O’Donnell.
Last Wednesday the Patriots defeated Medford, 5-2, in a come-from-behind victory. Revere found itself trailing 2-1 with 10 minutes to go, but brought the contest back to level when Nahomy Martinez earned a penalty kick.
Chorqi made good on the PK and five minutes later, Martinez delivered a beautiful header past the Medford keeper off a nice pass from Yanes to boost Revere into a 3-2 lead.
Bettero then sealed the deal with two more goals in the final minutes — giving Carolina a hat trick on the day — for the 5-2 finale.
“The girls deserve this league title,” said O’Donnell. “They have worked so hard all season. We are looking forward to the tournament.”
The Patriots will host Charlestown tonight (Wednesday) under the lights at Harry Della Russo Stadium. They will travel to Haverhill tomorrow (Thursday) and trek to Lynn Classical on Monday. They will make a longer journey to Lowell for the regular season finale next Tuesday.
RHS Golfers Top Lynn Classical
The Revere High golf team earned a 59.5-12.5 victory over Lynn English last week.
All of Patriot senior golfers either tied or won their matches against their Bulldog counterparts. Captain Dante Raffa played number one and tied his match.
William Ly and Michael Hayes both won their matches playing in the number two and three positions respectively.
In a 57-15 loss to Lynn Classical, sophomore Alexio Trichillo led the Patriots with three points in his match at number four.
“This was Alexio’s first time playing in the number four slot, a testament to his hard work and dedication to improving each day,” said RHS coach Brandon Pezzuto. “Alexio’s reflective attitude is second to none. His calm demeanor gives him an advantage in the mental side of the game, and being deliberate in his practice routines enables him to improve each time he swings a golf club. He just started playing golf in August, and his improvement rate is off the charts. I am looking forward to seeing where this drive takes him in the game of golf and beyond.”
The twin contests against the Lynn schools concluded the season for Pezzuto and his squad, who concluded their 2019 campaign with a record of 5-11 overall and 3-8 in the Greater Boston League.